Monday, September 8, 2014

Struggling with Loss

For those of you who don't know, I work in the Chicago theatre community, and our ranks suffered a huge loss this weekend. An actress I've had the privilege of seeing in two of our recent productions (and who has acted all over the city) was taken from us far too soon in a horrific accident.

It's one of those situations where I'm really struggling to come to terms with my feelings. I don't think I get to call her a "friend," since I'm sure our brief interactions didn't have the same kind of impact on her as they did on me. But, I am honored that I got to meet her and spend any amount of time with her at all. From the conversations we had, I knew her to be a friendly and engaging person. You couldn't help but smile when you saw her, and now she's just gone. Just like that.

Our community has been mourning her all weekend, and struggling to come to terms with her loss. A friend of the family set up a fund to help her husband and children through this dark time, and people have come through with amazing generosity.

I found out this morning that she was an organ donor, and that they'd kept her heart beating over the weekend so that her organs could go to people who needed them. That little piece of information really made me stop and think. About what her family was going through; how they said goodbye, but then kept vigil by her bedside until the very end. About how her death is making a positive impact on the lives of other people (I'm wearing my Taylor Blue nail polish to support organ donation today About how easily it could have been Hubby or me. About how fragile and fleeting life is, and how lucky I am to have found a happy place in it.

The Things will be turning one on Wednesday, and I've been reflecting back on the past year recently. Thinking about how lucky we are to have two beautiful, happy, healthy babies. How lucky I was to have an uncomplicated twin pregnancy, and to be able to take the babies home right away. How lucky I am to have a supportive partner to get me through the bad times. How lucky I am to have so few bad times to get through.

As one family faces their darkest times, I mourn for and with them. I mourn for her sons, now growing up without their mother. I mourn for her husband, missing his partner. I mourn to see a bright light burn out too soon.

So many people have said beautiful things about Molly this weekend. I know I don't have anything new to say. But, I'm so proud to see how the theatre community has come together to support Molly's family. If you're so inclined, please take a minute and give what you can:

This is a sad time for us. The theatre world is a family, and losses like this are felt deeply. It's good to know that we can also lean on each other in our sadness and share our happy memories of Molly as we try to come to terms with our grief.

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